When I was a young mother, I worked with a bunch of incredible women. 🙌🏻We were as close as co-workers could be. We 😂laughed together. Shared 💔heartaches together. Watched episodes of Seinfeld and Friends together. That same bunch took an annual trip to a lake house where plenty of snacks were devoured and memories made. Everyone except me that is.
My friends good-naturedly teased me about skipping the trips. They probably 🤔wondered why I didn’t ever go with them. I offered every logical reason- none of them was the truth. What my friends didn’t know was that I was struggling. Life looks a lot different for me now. But- at that point, I couldn’t leave my young children at home to go for a fun weekend with friends. ❌I couldn’t even consider it. While my home life looked pretty from the outside, it was far from it on the inside. I was trapped in a marriage that left me feeling sad and lonely and desperately hoping that no one would notice. Hoping that I could fake 🎭happiness for everyone on the outside and just deal with things quietly on my own.
Looking back all these years later, it’s interesting that I chose to play a role in the happy family facade. My friends would have listened if I opened up to them. They would have 💞loved me through it. I chose to handle everything alone- not because of them, but because of me. 😞I had grown very comfortable being the only person that I could count on. The 🎭charade was one thing I could control. Fast forward to my current life, which is rich and full and- yes- 😍happy. Not just on the outside now. But- I spent years behind those closed 🚪doors where I confided in no one. Not friends. Not family. Not anyone.
Here’s the reason that I shared this with you today. Everyone is dealing with something. 💥Let me say that again- EVERYONE is dealing with something. We have 🌈beautiful seasons of life, and we have ⛈difficult seasons. I think we’re happy to 🎉celebrate the magnificent moments. I think we’re also adept at hiding the horrid ones.
It’s okay to share it all, though. From my experience, I’ve learned that opening up not only helps me. It also has the potential to 💕help others who may be hiding similar issues behind their own closed 🚪doors. Being vulnerable has a way of bringing us together. It shows that we are flawed. ✨That we’re human. ✨That we have a depth to our character. ✨That we’re not just the images we project.✨
There were a couple of reasons that I didn’t open up to my friends way back then. I was holding on to the 🎭image of the perfect family myself. Maybe if I didn’t give them any attention, the bad parts would work themselves out or fade away. I know- I see the faulty logic in that now, but it made sense in the moment. I also believe that I didn’t have enough faith in my friends to trust their reactions. I felt that they would see me as a failure. I thought their lives were perfect, and they wouldn’t understand mine. Remember what I said earlier about everyone dealing with something? ✅I didn’t trust that they would use their own difficult life experiences to share in mine. I didn’t recognize that we were in the same 🛶boat on different journeys.
We don’t have to have the same problems to understand the emotions wrapped up in hard times. 💯I wish I had known that years ago. When I finally shared my real story with them, my friends were behind me every 👟step of the way as I found my footing and an incredible second chapter. 💖My worries about sharing my problems were for nothing. As a matter of fact, I could have made things easier for myself if I had only talked honestly.
So, my message is this- don’t be afraid to share the parts of your life that are 😱scary or embarrassing or challenging or 😥sad. I guarantee you that your friends have problems, too, even if you can’t 👀see them. If you’re still not comfortable talking about the ☠️ugly stuff with friends or family, then find another route to do it- a therapist or mentor or spiritual leader. Just find someone that you trust- and know that you will be heard.💝
What if…we’re honest? It is one of the toughest things in the world to confront the painful parts of life. I found it much easier to just keep plugging along. 🛑Stop doing that! Don’t live behind those 🚪closed doors. There’s 🌟light out there for you- just like there was for me.💕